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Josi, Preds Ecstatic to Have Fisher Back in Locker Room, On Ice

Nashville Captain's Lunch with Fisher Helped to Make Final Decision

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

Roman Josi left the meeting without a doubt in his mind.

The Predators captain had heard whispers of a former leader thinking of putting retirement aside for a chance at another postseason run.

So Josi reached out and planned a lunch, just the two of them, to discuss what might be possible. And when the two went their separate ways, it was clear Mike Fisher still had the will, the passion, the desire to give it one more try.

Count Josi and his teammates among the ecstatic members of the Nashville organization who learned Wednesday that Fisher is officially making a comeback to play for the Predators, an opportunity to rejoin the group that was so close to going the distance last June.

Fisher ultimately made the final decision on his own, but it's clear the amount of influence Josi had on the former captain and the path he eventually chose to pursue.

"I just told him how much we'd love to have him back as players and I know all the guys in the room would get really excited to have him back," Josi said. "He's such a great presence in the room and such a great guy to have around and obviously his play on the ice and his leadership. I just told him the players' side and I was hoping I could convince him to come back."

Video: Roman Josi tells the story of Mike Fisher's return

Before long, Josi will have the chance to enjoy lunches of the pregame variety with Fisher once more, an incredibly welcomed addition to the Predators locker room for the final stretch of the regular season and then some.

"How great of a person he is, how great of a player he is and how much he means to this locker room, especially to the guys, [this is awesome]," Josi said. "Everybody's smiling today. When they heard the news, everybody was so happy. He's a huge part of this organization and we all know how much he's going to bring here down the stretch."

Predators General Manager David Poile reiterated during Wednesday's press conference there is no timetable for Fisher to return to game action. Rather, the Preds will be patient with Fisher's progress and give him as much time as he needs before inserting him into the lineup.

One thing is abundantly clear in the minds of Fisher's teammates, however, and that's his ability to jump right back in with a comfort level which surpases that of a typical acquisition.

"He knows the system, he knows most of the guys… he's pretty familiar with the whole thing," Josi said. "I know he's been watching some games too and he's been following it. He won't have any problem to get up to speed."

Video: Pekka Rinne is thrilled Mike Fisher is coming back

The Predators know what Fisher is capable on the ice. Whatever role he is asked to play, Fisher is more than willing to do so. First line, fourth line - it doesn't matter.

Fisher is only worried about is doing whatever he can to help his team. And even though he's yet to log a single second of ice time this season, all he had to do to start that process of contribution was step into the locker room.

"He's a guy that everybody looks up to, but at the same time, he's like any one of us," goaltender Pekka Rinne said of Fisher. "He's a great guy, he doesn't put himself above anybody, and to me, that's what makes him such a great leader."

"I know just having him around the locker room just gives me an energy boost," defenseman P.K. Subban said of Fisher. "There's just that reassurement of security knowing that he's there, and what he brings it's just great for us."

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